Bloggiesta Challenge - Blogging Schedule

Bloggiesta Challenge: Create a Blogging Schedule

Posted 21 March, 2015 in Blogging Tips / 22 Comments

Hey everyone! After this idea got such a great response during last month’s Be a Better Blogger challenge, I decided to bring it back as a Bloggiesta challenge!

Do you have a blogging schedule?

I don’t mean keeping track of when posts are going to be published – that’s an editorial calendar and a totally different thing. The two terms are often used interchangeably but have little in common.

Aside from hitting publish, what other work goes into your blog? Social media posting, reviewing, cross-posting, browsing NetGalley, contacting authors, and more. That’s all a part of blogging, as well, and should be included in your blogging schedule.

Step 1: Decide What to Put On Your Blogging Calendar

It depends on what kind of posts you write and how you divide your time, but some items you might include are:

  • Editorial calendar – yes, you do need some sort of document that tells you what you’re posting and when.
  • Writing time – these will be blocks of time on your schedule devoted to outlining, drafting, writing, and formatting posts.
  • Social media – scheduling posts, interacting with your audience, and networking.
  • Analytics – take a look at Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and anywhere else you collect data from.
  • Email – going through your inbox, signing up for ARCs through PR company mailing lists, and reading author newsletters.
  • Maintaining your site – cleaning up your sidebar, optimize your blog for email marketing, updating your archive pages (if they don’t auto-update), add new pages, improve your SEO, clean up your tags and categories, etc. Basically, all the blog admin stuff.
  • Author outreach – browsing NetGalley and Edelweiss, signing up for ARCs and blog tours, emailing and/or requesting from authors, their PAs, or their publicists and publishers.
  • Cross-posting – making sure all your book reviews are on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, etc.

And that’s just me. You might have other things like meeting with your co-bloggers, coordinating giveaways, or putting together events.

Step 2: Create Your Schedule

Now comes the part where you really start planning things out.

  • First of all, decide when you’re going to work. This doesn’t need to be as detailed as, “Find new books on NetGalley from 7:30 – 8:00 p.m every Friday.” For me, it’s “Browse ARC sites on Saturdays,” and “Check sale websites on Sundays.”
  • Time your tasks. Your schedule won’t be manageable if you don’t know how long certain things take. Your first schedule needs to be tested to make sure it’s manageable. I used a timer for a few weeks until I got a good picture of how long basic tasks like formatting reviews, writing reviews, and more took. Then I moved some things around on the schedule so tasks were more evenly distributed throughout the week.
  • Create a recurring calendar. You can either buy a paper calendar and write in these scheduled tasks on their assigned days, or go digital. I like managing these types of recurring tasks on a project manager. Recently I’ve been using Todoist. It allows you to set up recurring tasks so “Check Goodreads First Reads” automatically gets added every Sunday. In the image below, any task with the little arrow circle by the date is a recurring, scheduled blogging task.

book_bumblings_blogging_schedule

Step 3: Stick to Your Schedule

So, technically this part takes place in the future instead of during this Bloggiesta, but is still important to mention. Once you create your schedule, it won’t do any good unless you stick to it.

How can you make sure not to slack?

  • Schedule time in your calendar or planner.
  • Prioritize blogging.
  • Use a to-do list or task manager (I recommend making sure it has recurring tasks, for easier planning).

Tip: Always Be Adjusting

Don’t forget to adjust your schedule as needed. You might start writing longer or shorter reviews. Or you’ve gotten better at formatting post and it no longer tasks as long.

Your schedule might need to change now and then, and it’s important not to let your workflow get stale. For a long while, I only used NetGalley for requesting ARCs. When I did start to make more of an effort to use Edelweiss, I didn’t have it in my task manager or on my to-do list. Because of that, I kept forgetting to check it when I was in “ARC mode.”

If you need to allot a different amount of time for something, or to add or remove a certain task, make sure to “put it in writing” to hold yourself accountable for completing it.

Do you have a blogging schedule? If you do, awesome! If you don’t this challenge will absolutely make you a more productive blogger. Outline how your schedule might pan out in the comments!

How to Come Up with a Blogging Schedule for Your Book Blog

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22 Responses to “Bloggiesta Challenge: Create a Blogging Schedule”

  1. This is a great challenge idea, and something that all bloggers need to think about. I’m almost afraid to think of all the tasks I really do, and need to do. I only have a calendar type thing for a todo list to write posts, like you said that’s more of an editorial calendar.

    • An editorial calendar is still better than nothing! I can’t believe the number of bloggers I see who seem to have no idea what they’re posting and when, even when they sign up for tours and other things that *have* to be published on a certain day!

  2. I have a notebook with monthly additions from NetGalley with publish dates so I can keep up to date on those reviews…and a Google Calendar to visually “see” them in one spot. But I do need more and I know this – I just haven’t put it all together. But that ends today. And this is exactly why I joined Bloggiesta – to learn so thank you very much for this particular post.

    I’m taking notes from your post and will devise my own blogging schedule – one that truly works for me, cos we’re each individual as to how we work best.

  3. I use a calendar to keep track of everything posting on my blog, and I two apps on my phone. One for tasks to be done and reminders about certain blogging stuff, and another app to write down notes and ideas. 🙂

  4. I used to use a calendar religiously every month, then I started to get disheartened when I missed posting on certain days. This post has been really helpful in getting me more organised, so I can’t thank you enough for that! I think I’m going to start by creating a calendar for next month, incorporating my new schedule into it.

    • The fun thing about a digital calendar is that you can quickly drag the event to a new date, and it’s over before you can feel guilty about it! Bahaha. Good luck with your scheduling!

  5. I have been thinking about creating a schedule for myself lately. I haven’t been writing at all, and that is mostly due to the fact that I don’t have a time frame set up to do this. I am going to take some of your ideas from here. Thanks for the great challenge!

  6. Bex

    I’ve blogged the past four years without any kind of schedule at all but that’s because I don’t take part in tours very much and only accept ARCs without review deadlines. This week has me rethinking blogging though and how much I miss being really involved in blogging since having had kids. I think I’m going to sit with your post later today and start some kind of plan,thanks!

  7. I have an editorial calendar and use Trello to keep up with my to-do list, but I just started using todoist (at your suggestion) so I can set up recurring tasks yet still feel like I’m crossing things off of my list. I feel slightly overwhelmed by how much I need to accomplish at any given time, but I’m liking todoist’s ability to put off the tasks I don’t get to until the next day–or later. Thanks for this great suggestion, Brittany!

  8. I have to have a calendar and schedule. I get so scatter brained if I don’t. I just put all of my stuff on Trello with due dates, and I write notes in my planner whenever I need to add something. It’s helped so much. I work on comments while the kids do homework, and read when they go to bed. I do most of my blogging stuff when I’m slow at work and on the weekends when we don’t have anything planned. I do need to do set times that I work on everything so time doesn’t slip away. Thanks for an awesome challenge!!!

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